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Jennifer Grey recalls feeling ‘completely invisible’ after her second nose job

The "Dirty Dancing" star, 62, opens up about the experience in her new memoir, "Out of the Corner."
2015 Tony Awards - Alternative Views
Jennifer Grey opens up about the results of the two nose jobs she underwent after "Dirty Dancing:" "In the world’s eyes, I was no longer me."Mike Coppola / Getty Images

Jennifer Grey is opening up about how the results of the two nose job procedures she underwent after the success of "Dirty Dancing" left her feeling "completely invisible" in Hollywood.

The 62-year-old actor, who famously starred as Baby opposite Patrick Swayze in the 1987 romantic drama, told People that she bumped into fellow actor Michael Douglas at a premiere after undergoing the rhinoplasties and he didn't recognize her.

"That was the first time I had gone out in public. And it became the thing, the idea of being completely invisible, from one day to the next," she recalled.


Patrick Swayze And Jennifer Grey In 'Dirty Dancing'
Grey expressed regret that she and her "Dirty Dancing" co-star Patrick Swayze didn't have a strong relationship when the cameras weren't rolling. "We weren’t a natural match," she told People.Getty Images

Grey said her sudden invisibility felt even more "weird" because, unlike her famous parents, Oscar winner Joel Grey and former singer-actor Jo Wilder, she never wanted to get a nose job.

“In the world’s eyes, I was no longer me and the weird thing was that thing that I resisted my whole life, and the thing I was so upset with my mother for always telling me I should do my nose,” she explained. “I really thought it was capitulating. I really thought it meant surrendering to the enemy camp. I just thought, ‘I’m good enough. I shouldn’t have to do this.’ That’s really what I felt. ‘I’m beautiful enough.’”

Grey, who talks about the experience in her new memoir, “Out of the Corner,” out May 3, said her mother encouraged her to get a nose job for "pragmatic" reasons.

“She loves me, loved me, always has, and she was pragmatic because she was saying, ‘Guess what? It’s too hard to cast you. Make it easier for them,'" said Grey.

“But when I was a kid, I was completely anti-rhinoplasty. I mean it was like my religion," she went on. "I loved that my parents (underwent rhinoplasties). I understand it was the 50s. I understand they were assimilating. I understood that you had to change your name and you had to do certain things, and it was just normalized, right? You can’t be gay. You can’t be Jewish. You know, you can’t look Jewish. You’re just trying to fit into whatever is the group think."

Elsewhere in the interview, Grey acknowledged that she and co-star Swayze didn't have a strong relationship behind the scenes on "Dirty Dancing." Though the "tension" between the pair worked for the movie, Grey now regrets that she and Swayze never became good friends.

"The same way Baby and Johnny were not supposed to be together … a natural match, right? And we weren’t a natural match. And the fact that we needed to be a natural match created a tension. Because normally when someone’s not a natural, you… both people move on, but we were forced to be together. And our being forced to be together created a kind of a synergy, or like a friction," she explained.

Grey continued, "I actually just had a thought about Patrick. I feel like if I could say anything to him now I would say, ‘I’m so sorry that I couldn’t just appreciate and luxuriate in who you were, instead of me wishing you were more like what I wanted you to be.’”

As for why Grey wasn't more fond of Swayze, who died of cancer in 2009 at age 57, even she can't make sense of it. She does remember, however, being preoccupied at the time with her then-boyfriend Matthew Broderick.

“And the weird thing was, it’s like, 'What’s wrong with me?' I mean, I was not lacking. And (Swayze) was married and very in love with his wife," she recalled. "Whatever he was doing, I was not… I was very busy with Matthew. Like, what could be more different?”